More input sought on WTC disaster

January 01, 2003 |

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) last month issued the first interim report on its investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center disaster.

NIST Director Arden Bement said his agency is seeking from the public and news media additional photographs and videotapes that could provide insights into the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2, the response of their occupants, and the work of first responders. Investigators are looking for images that would provide better documentation of the initial damage and subsequent fire growth in WTC towers 1 and 2 and the adjacent WTC 7 building. Bement said investigators are especially interested in obtaining views of the south and west faces of WTC 1 and 2.

NIST expects to begin interviewing as many as 6,000 survivors, families of victims and first responders by early next month.

Strikes ruled a single incident

In a related development, a lawsuit between insurers and owner Silverstein Properties was settled in favor of the insurers. The two aircraft strikes against the towers were ruled to constitute a single incident, rather than separate events, for insurance purposes. A useful byproduct of this litigation, however, was that both parties turned over to NIST data they had developed for the case.

Most of the structural steel used to construct the towers was supplied by Japanese firms, which have provided proprietary information about the composition of the steel used on the project. NIST now believes it has baseline information on the majority of steel strengths used on the project, according to an agency spokesman.

NIST said it will issue reports on its WTC investigation on at least a quarterly basis.

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